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Science Fiction Prototyping by Brian David Johnson

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CHAPTER 8

Einstein’s Thought Experiments and Asimov’s Second Dream

When Albert Einstein was 16, a family friend introduced him to a concept that would change the young Einstein’s life and also the history of science. Einstein’s informal tutor was Max Talmey, a medical student, who would often have dinner with the family. Talmey gave Einstein Aaron Bernstein’s 1867 science series Books on Physical Science. In one of the books, Bernstein imagined what it might be like riding alongside electricity as it was traveling inside a telegraph wire.

This idea captured the young Einstein’s imagination but he applied it to his own area of interest, the properties of light. The Britannica Guide to the 100 Most Influential Scientists describes the young genius’ ...

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